How to fix high CPU usage caused by TrustedInstaller.exe?

By ivan.diskin | October 1, 2019 |

greater than 13 minutes

You probably saw the TrustedInstaller.exe entry active in the Task Manager program. You then realized that the process was using up a disproportionate or unusually high amount of your computer resources (anything above 50%), so your curiosity was further heightened. Well, in this guide, we will be focused on showing you how to decrease Trusted Installer CPU usage for the most part. However, before we begin, we want you to learn certain things about this particular process.

What is TrustedInstaller.exe?

TrustedInstaller.exe is a known process used by the Windows Modules Installer service. The Windows Modules Installer service handles or manages the installation tasks for Windows updates, uninstallation operations for applications, modification processes for certain system components, and so on.

Well, it is easy to see that the Windows Modules Installer service is quite useful in the Windows operating system environment, which means the TrustedInstalle.exe process is also important. The TrustedInstaller.exe process for the Windows Modules Installer service can be found on all modern versions of the Windows operating system (Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10).

Why does TrustedInstaller.exe keep running?

The Trustedinstaller.exe process is always running because Microsoft designed its code to do precisely that. Given the activities TrustedInstaller.exe is involved with, we understand why the process has to be running at all times. The automatic check for Windows updates operation, for example, cannot be executed (without input from users) if the process is inactive.

Why does TrustedInstaller.exe consume so much CPU resources?

The TrustedInstaller.exe process is far from flawless. In fact, since it handles so many system tasks or operations, it is only natural that it uses a considerable amount of CPU resources to do its job. Issues arise only when TrustedInstalle.exe causes CPU usage so high that your PC becomes sluggish or you struggle to work on Windows.

First, you must understand that the event where TrustedInstaller.exe uses so much of CPU resources (even as high as 100%) is hardly an aberration or disruption from the norm. Yes, sometimes, the process needs that much juice. Those events, however, rarely occur (or they happen sporadically). They are also not supposed to last long in the first place.

For example, when Windows Update is running its standard scan for available updates or installing stuff on your computer, then the TrustedInstaller.exe process might drain your CPU resources rapidly, which means the usage figure will spike up to 90% or 100%. Well, even after Windows completes the download and installation tasks involving updates and your computer gets rebooted, TrustedInstaller.exe might still have to run checks for available Windows updates.

In any case, TrustedInstaller.exe will eventually slow down and stop using a disproportionate amount of your CPU resources. Therefore, in scenarios where you experience the high CPU usage caused by TrustedInstaller.exe, it might be better for you to wait things out. If you are patient enough, the problem should (and might) go away.

In other words, you are not even supposed to notice the extreme usage of your computer resources by TrustedInstaller.exe (frequently). Or even if you do notice it (at all), the usage figure is supposed to go down eventually. If things remain the same even after you wait for long or if you get bothered by the issue frequently, then you have a problem.

The TrustedInstaller.exe 100% high CPU usage has been reported to result in computers freezing or going down with crashes. You can try to stop TrustedInstaller.exe from running, but we are usually against that line of action. TrustedInstaller.exe is an important system process or component, after all. You might not have much choice later on, though.

How to fix the high CPU usage involving TrustedInstaller.exe on Windows

We will now describe the most effective procedures used to reduce the CPU usage rate or completely stop TrustedInstaller.exe from using absurd amounts of the available CPU resources on computers. Ideally, you should go through the solutions in the order they appear and apply them likewise.

  1. Clear problem history in Control Panel:

The procedure here is easily the least disruptive of the lot. Since we are looking to keep changes that might negatively influence the activities of the TrustedInstaller.exe process to a minimum, it makes sense for you to start troubleshooting the problem this way.

The clearing of problem history is a simple and harmless operation for the most part. More importantly, a good number of users reported that it had been enough to fix the high CPU usage they had experienced with TrustedInstaller.exe. You too must give it a go and see if you get the same results.

Follow these instructions:

  • Press the Windows logo button on your computer’s keyboard to see the Windows Start menu options and utilities (or click on the Windows icon on your machine’s screen for the same result).
  • Input Control Panel into the text box (that shows up the moment you begin to type) to perform a search task.
  • Once Control Panel (App) gets displayed as the main item on the results list, you have to click on it to launch the needed program.
  • Assuming you are now on the Control Panel window, you have to fill the text box in the top-right corner with this text to run a search operation:

reports

  • Click on the View all problem reports link (usually under Security and Maintenance) to get to your destination.
  • Assuming you are now on the Review problem reports menu, you have to click on the Clear all problem reports button (close to the bottom of the window).
  • When the confirmation prompt for the clearing operation comes up, you have to click on the OK button to provide affirmation.

Windows will now do the job.

  • Restart your computer, open the Task Manager app, and then check the active processes to confirm that TrustedInstaller.exe is now acting normally.
  1. Change your updates configuration from Automatic to Full Manual (specific fix for Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 users only):

Windows 10 users, unfortunately, do not get the standard options used to limit or block the automatic downloading and installation of Windows updates in their system settings. If your device is running an older version of Windows (the ones listed earlier), then you can instruct Windows to never install (or even search for) updates without your permission (or you initiating the operation in the first place).

By reducing Windows Update activities, TrustedInstruller.exe gets fewer tasks to perform or fewer things to handle. The reduction in its activity should, therefore, translate to a decrease in the CPU usage rate, which is the goal you are looking to achieve here.

Anyway, here are the instructions you must follow to make the necessary changes to Windows Update settings in Control Panel:

  • First, you must launch the Control Panel app.

You can open Control Panel on almost any version of Windows this way: Use the Windows logo button + letter R keyboard shortcut to fire up the Run app quickly, fill the text box on the Run window with Control, and then hit Enter on your device’s keyboard to run the code.

  • Go through the items on the Control Panel main screen and click on System and Maintenance. If this option is missing, then you have to search for it in the text box in the top-left corner of the window.
  • Under System and Maintenance, you must check the options on the area close to the right pane and then click on Turn automatic updating on or off (under Windows Update).
  • On the following screen (for Choose how Windows can install updates), you have to click on the radio button for Never check for updates.

Depending on your security needs and how much you are willing to sacrifice to resolve the high CPU usage, you might be better off going with Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them or Download updates but let me choose whether to install them.

  • Click on the OK button to save the changes you just made to the Windows Update configuration on your computer.
  • Once the User Account Control (UAC) prompt comes up to get some form of confirmation for the changes made, you have to click on the Continue or Yes button.
  • Close the Control Panel window and then restart your computer.

You are unlikely to be bothered by the high CPU usage problem involving the TrustedInstaller.exe process, but you will do well to initiate checks for Windows updates regularly and install the necessary packages.

  1. Make some changes to your computer settings to prevent Windows from loading up the Windows Modules Installer service automatically:

If the previous procedure – where changes were made to the Windows Update configuration – did not result in a significant drop in the CPU usage figure or if the fix did not apply to you because your machine is running Windows 10, then the operation here should help you. Now, we want you to disable the Windows Modules Installer service and also change its Startup parameter from Automatic (the default selection) to Manual.

The required changes have to be made in two phases. Well, these instructions cover everything:

  • First, you have to open the Run app. You can use the Windows logo + letter R keyboard shortcut we mentioned earlier to do the job again.
  • This time, after the small Run window appears, you have to fill the text box on it with this code:

Msconfig

  • Click on the OK button on the Run window to force Windows to run the code (or hit the Enter key on your machine’s keyboard for the same outcome).
  • Assuming the System Configuration window has been brought up, you have to click on the Services tab to go there.
  • Go through the long list of services, scroll down and locate Windows Modules Installer. Click on the checkbox next to this service (to get it deselected).
  • Click on the Apply button and then click on the OK button to save the changes you just made to the configuration for the Windows Modules Installer service.

At this point, with the first task done, you must now move on to make the required changes to the service Startup parameter:

  • Fire up the Run app again using the known keyboard shortcut. Once its window appears, you have to type in the following code this time:

Services.msc

  • Click on the OK button on the Run window to force Windows to run the code (or hit the Enter key on your machine’s keyboard for the same outcome).
  • Assuming the Services window has been brought up, you have to go through the items on the list, locate Windows Modules Installer, and then double-click on this service.

The Properties window for the Windows Modules Installer service will be displayed now.

  • Under the General tab, you have to click on the drop-down menu beside the Startup type text.
  • From the options available, you have to choose Manual.
  • If the Service status reads Running, then you have to click on the Stop button to get Windows to terminate proceedings for the service.

Otherwise – if the Service status reads Stopped, the Stop button will be greyed out, which means you will be unable to use it.

  • Click on the Apply button and then click on the OK button to save the new configuration for the Windows Modules Installer service.
  • Finally, you must restart your computer to round up things.
  • After the reboot, you must launch Task Manager (as usual) and then check the active processes to confirm that the high CPU usage issue associated with TrustedInstaller.exe has been resolved for good.

Note: If you encounter problems with utilities or setups in Windows after the work you just did, you must not hesitate to reverse the changes you made to the Windows Modules Installer service. If the resulting issues are not so severe, however, then you are free to leave things the way they are – especially if you consider the downsides from the fix a small price to pay for getting a permanent fix to the high CPU usage problem.

  1. Run a scan using the SFC tool:

If you do not want to disable the Windows Modules Installer service or turn off the automatic download and installation function for Windows updates, then you have to resolve the issues affecting the TrustedInstaller.exe process – especially those due to which it consumes a disproportionate amount of your CPU resources – through other means.  The task before you is hardly an easy one, though.

Here, we want you to run a scan using the System File Checker tool to check for and repair corrupted system files or broken entries. The utility works by going through Windows components to identify the bad packages, which it then replaces with solid copies of the same data.

Here are the instructions you must follow:

  • Press the Windows logo button on your computer’s keyboard to see the Windows Start menu options and utilities (or click on the Windows icon on your machine’s screen for the same result).
  • Input Command Prompt into the text box (that shows up the moment you begin to type) to perform a search task.
  • Once Command Prompt (App) gets displayed as the main item on the results list, you have to right-click on this entry to see its context menu and then select the Run as administrator option.
  • Assuming the Administrator: Command Prompt window has been brought up, you have to execute this code (type it in first and then run it by hitting Enter on your machine’s keyboard):

sfc /scannow

  • Now, you have to be patient while the tool does its You must allow it to take as much time as it needs.
  • After everything is done, you must close the elevated Command Prompt window and then restart your computer to allow the changes made to become effective
  • Let your computer to settle down (after the reboot), launch the Task Manager, and then go through the active processes to see if TrustedInstaller.exe is now functioning normally.

Note: If the operation to fix system files or components using the System File Checker utility fails to do enough to bring about the needed changes to the TrustedInstaller.exe code, then you have to run further or more advanced scans with the same tool and even use the DISM utility to complement its work. Unfortunately, the descriptions of the extensive procedures are beyond the scope of our work in this guide.

  1. Run scans for viruses and malware:

If you are still struggling to resolve the high CPU usage problem involving TrustedInstaller.exe – even after you attempted the fixes we described above – then it is time you considered the possibility where the TrustedInstaller.exe process active on your computer is not the genuine process designed by Microsoft. Or it is time you started assuming that a malicious program is somehow involved in the events where the troubled process uses a disproportionate amount of your CPU resources.

You can begin by checking from where the TrustedInstaller.exe process (shown in the Task Manager application) is running. You can find out by right-clicking on TrustedInstaller in Task Manager to see the context menu available and then selecting Open file location.

You are supposed to get directed to the folder along the C: Windows \ servicing path in a File Explorer window. Alternatively, you can fire up the File Explorer application using the Windows logo button + letter E keyboard and then browse through the stated path to get to the directory housing the TrustedInstaller process file.

The TrustedInstaller application size should be around the 100-200 KB figure. If you find an abnormally large or small file, then you have to investigate things further. If you found the TrustedInstaller application in a directory that differs from the known location for the process file, then you have more or less confirmed that something sinister is involved in the high CPU usage events.

Even if you find the TrustedInstaller.exe process where it is supposed to be – and you managed to confirm that everything is in order (as regards the file size) – you will still do well run scans for viruses and malware to verify things.

Go through these steps:

  • Open your antivirus program or primary security utility. If you do not have one, then you can get Auslogics Anti-Malware quickly and use it.
  • Once the program window comes up, you have to click on the Full or complete scan option.

In general, you have to initiate the most comprehensive scan operation your security program is capable of running. By this, we mean you should go with the scan option that ensures checks are made on all the files and folders on your computer (no stone gets left unturned) and the one that requires the most time.

  • Be patient while the scan is ongoing. You can pay attention to the operation’s progress (if you like).
  • Once the recommended scan is complete, you have to review the results.
  • If you notice that serious threats have been quarantined, then you can instruct the security program to remove them for good. You can do this by clicking on the Delete button (in most cases, at least).

If you are not sure of things, then you can keep the detected threats in quarantine.

You can run additional scans with other security programs (the one we recommended earlier, for example) to confirm things. Ideally, you want to run as many checks as possible for viruses and malware on your computer. A second program might succeed and detect the bad stuff in cases where the first one failed. You can also run scans on targeted locations or specific files. Do whatever you have to do to get rid of all the malicious programs on your computer (and even their entries or leftovers).

  • In any case, after all the threats have been dealt with, you have to close your antivirus or security app and then restart your PC to allow the changes made to become effective.
  • After the recommended reboot, you have to open the Task Manager program and see what has changed there as regards the behavior of the TrustedInstaller.exe process.

Other things you can try to resolve the high CPU usage issue caused by TrustedInstaller.exe activities on Windows

If you are yet to fix the problems that result in the TrustedInstaller.exe process using a disproportionate amount of your computer resources, then you have to give the solutions on this final list a try:

  1. Download and install a new Windows service pack (one with which the high CPU usage issue does not manifest itself).

  2. Do a clean boot to check whether the same high CPU usage problem plays out when third-party influences or interferences are a nonfactor.

TIP:

If you are experiencing slowdowns or similar performance issues on your computer, then Auslogics BoostSpeed may be able to help you. You can run this program to diagnose your PC’s problems and then instruct it to perform the appropriate repairs and optimizations so that your system ends up being primed to execute operations faster than before.

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